Rice Owls Club Baseball

Midseason Update
March 10, 2020, 5:51 pm
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Rice Owls are off to their best start in 3 years, finishing up a sweep of Lamar in Beaumont. As of now, we stand at a 7-5 record, with series against UHD and Lone Star Cy Fair, with a chance for playoff baseball. Owls will continue to practice and play as the school monitors the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

If any prospective students are reading this, please do not hesitate to reach out to the president Roy Phillips (ap60 at rice.edu) or the team email (riceowlsclubbaseball at gmail.com), with any questions about club baseball or Rice in general.

Noteworthy performances so far: Austin Fix (.536/.567/.607) has 15 hits through 30 plate appearances, and asserted his multi-sport abilities with a win in mini-golf… Matt Plaza has 5 hits- 3 triples and 2 doubles… Ben Baker-Katz leads the league with 1 HR… Jose Morales-Wade made 12 of 15 stops in hockey… the pitching staff has stabilized with consistency from Zach Rewolinski (2-1, 4.67 ERA) and Roy Phillips (14 IP, 3.00 ERA), along with continued performance of Andrew Connoy (14 IP, 2.00 ERA) and Matt Plaza… Phillips, Plaza and Connoy have combined for 53 Ks in less than 26 innings. 



2019 Fall Exhibition Schedule Out!
September 7, 2019, 4:04 pm
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Rice Club Baseball welcomes the new school year with a set of 9 exhibition games in Houston and the annual Wood Wars tournament in early November. Check out the current schedule here.


A Late Update on the 2019 Season
June 9, 2019, 11:07 am
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The Rice Owls wrapped up the 2019 season with a double header in College Station on April 28. While the results from the season were not what the team hoped for, there were quite a few bright spots in the difficult season, one of which was 17-3 win against ACU in Abilene in sub 40 degree weather while another was beating Club Soccer team in soccer. The team also welcomed 8 new faces to the team, from several freshman  and sophomores with multiple years of eligibility to Seniors returning to the diamond for the first time in college. These players played a big role on the team, serving as the majority of the infield, and starting all but 4 games on the mound. In addition to the unexpected pitching performances of Ben Rieden and the hitting prowess of Gregory Mifflin, the team will miss star outfielders Craig Broadman and Peter Suzuki,  as well as the efforts of Isaac Goforth and Jacob Song. Former captain Daniel Russell served all of Spring on the varsity weather, while treasurer Daniel Weinberg was on the injured for the whole season; nonetheless they will be missed. Looking forward to next year, the team will still have strong core of players, and work to flip the team’s record.

Rice Finishes Strong
May 21, 2018, 2:02 pm
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The 2018 season has come to a close on a bittersweet note.

After a several year drought of failing to defeat Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, Rice took 1 of 2 in the season’s final series and played into extra innings in the second game. The series saw the grand departure of many of its seniors, punctuated by President Chris Thomas’s 2-homer day that led to being named national club baseball player of the week. The team will miss his leadership and talents, as it will miss the guidance and abilities of former presidents Daniel Suzuki and Kenan Davis and all its other seniors: elite mini-golfer Perry Goldstein, unrivaled fungo-golfer Pax Kaplan-Sherman, knuckleballing escape-artist Will Bower, de-facto ace and 2 time repeat Wade Boggs award winner Sam Zapp, and early-retiree Alex Gardner.

On the whole, the 2018 season was down-and-up, as the team’s 6-6 record includes 2 early season forfeits due to umpire no-shows and a game called early due to darkness. In full games played by the team, the record stood 6-3, which included close games with every team except eventual regional runner-up HCC.

Moving into next year, the team oversaw changeover as Roy Phillips ’21 will step into a presidential role with Co-president and Captain Daniel Russell ’19. Daniel Weinberg ’19 will serve as team Treasurer and Mario Paciuc ’20 will be head of Socials after successfully organizing intersquad softball with women’s club soccer. New alumni Pax Kaplan-Sherman ’18 will step in as new team Manager.



Rice With Strong Start to Season!
February 20, 2017, 11:03 pm
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Club baseball season has officially begun! The Rice Owls played a series against Lamar this past weekend and a double header against UH the weekend before.

For the first game of the season, with a fan base at the start of the game consisting of a pair of stray dogs and an extra set of umpires, the Owls started Daniel Russell (’19 Will Rice). He went 5 strong and the Owls got off to a hot start, putting up 7 in the first, but failed to hold on to the lead. Daniel Russell (’19 Wiess) started the second game in his first official conference start and went 4 strong innings. Will Bower (’18 Duncan) and Perry Goldstein (’18 Wiess) came in shutdown relief in each respective game.  Hot hitters of the day included Craig Broadman (’19 McMurtry), who somehow also had a straight steal of home. The Owls lost the first game 11-8 and won the second 7-6.

As for the fungo golf game, heavy season favorite Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry) wasn’t there to participate, so others had the opportunity to pull ahead in the standings. Craig played an extremely fundamental and disciplined game to beat the field. It’s his first fungo golf win ever!

With the doubleheader and a lot of errors out of the way, the Owls hosted Lamar the next week at the beautiful new Mason Park stadium. However, due to heavy rains and a massive puddle at first base, Rice had to scoop mud with the ball bucket and buy multiple emergency field maintenance tools to make the field playable for the delayed start time. Despite this intense work, the park rangers were extremely angry with the team for trying to maintain the field and took pictures of the pile of mud claiming there would be damages if we didn’t fix that. So after the game, just in time for another adult league game, the Owls moved the mud back onto the field because that makes a lot of sense.

As for the games themselves, Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry) started the first game against a Lamar pitcher with a beard much like a garden gnome’s. He ended up pitching well for the whole game. Supported by a Kenan Davis (’18 Lovett) homerun, the Owls won 3-2. The second game, started by Will Bower, turned into a game pitched by committee, with Henry Lanaer (’19 Hanszen) and Daniel Russell each contributing solid innings. In a close game, Pax ran home from second on a bunt and took flight to evade the catcher’s tag. With multiple double plays in the game and dazzling scoops, Rice could get enough outs to put away Lamar’s attempt at a comeback. Rice won 7-5.

The fungo golf course was a fairly standard one, albeit a bit small. Pax notched his first win on the season in the first game, and in a three person playoff between Perry, Pax, and Carter Taft (’20 Wiess), Perry pulled away with the win in the second game. He is now on top of this year’s leaderboards.

Lucas Cadalzo (’17 Brown) started in his first conference series for the Sunday game of the series. With a large crowd watching and loud Hispanic music in the background, he pitched very well, with a surprising amount of slow comebackers back to him. He went 5 extremely strong innings against Lamar’s ace, a hard-throwing lefty. In the bottom of the 5th, Pax had a RBI single and rattled the pitcher to help tie the game at 2. Unfortunately, some errors led to Lamar scoring in the top of the 7th. Rice loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh and interestingly also pinch ran Ben Ruben (’20 McMurtry), but couldn’t score a tying run in an intense ending. Rice lost 3-2.

Looking ahead, Rice has a non-conference series against LSC DII this upcoming weekend and a series against HCC the weekend after. With UHD forfeiting the season, Rice just needs to win the HCC series and sweep Nichols State to secure the number one seed in the conference. As for the equally important fungo golf season, Perry has pulled one game ahead, but still has to fight off defending champ Pax, rising sophomore Craig, and potential rookie superstar Carter Taft (’20 Wiess).

2016-2017 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

2- Perry Goldstein

1- Will Bower, Craig Broadman, Pax Kaplan-Sherman

0- Everyone else


Thanks to Daniel Russell’s Mom and “the Sanjiv’s” for the snacks and drinks…..Lamar’s “coach”, who we nicknamed “Touchy”, made some very interesting comments throughout the game both to us and his own team…..It seems the Jacob “Hurricane” Gildan (’15 Lovett) is joining Jake Hernandez (’15 Sid Richardson) to coach the team this fall… He made very good friends with Touchy at first base….. Also thanks to Jake (Hernandez) for working so hard during pregame to make the fields playable, along with the expertise of professional groundskeeper Luis Jarma (’16 McMurtry)…Some team members want to thank La Tapatia for providing excellent postgame service. They somehow split a check 20 ways….

Owls Have Strong Showing at #WoodWars Tournament
October 24, 2016, 3:39 pm
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This past weekend the Owls traveled to McKinney, TX for the annual #woodwars tournament. As the official merchandise points out very clearly, this was the largest club baseball tournament ever. The Owls had only played one scrimmage against UHD and one official round of fungo golf prior to this weekend,  so this tournament provided Rice a good opportunity to play more fungo golf……and some baseball too.

The team left early Friday morning to make their 3:30 game. In the middle of a traffic jam on I45, one of the team cars ended up throwing a breakfast taco across an entire lane of traffic into Will Bower’s (‘18 Duncan) outstretched hand. After being congratulated by multiple passing cars, the team sped to McKinney to get to the fields 15 minutes before game time.

Chris Thomas (‘18 Wiess) started the first game against UH, which happened near Dallas instead of Houston for some reason. He went 5 strong innings, giving up 2 runs in the process. The team piled on run support, scoring 6 runs off clutch hits by Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan (‘17 McMurty) and Carter Taft (‘20 Wiess). The Owls won after a stressful 7th, where UH had the game-tying run on 2nd. Fortunately, Sam Zapp (‘18 McMurtry) came in to close the last two batters to win the game 6-4.

After the game, the team prepared diligently for the required “Hitter’s Swing-It Challenge” by eating fast food. Tournament director Ryan Norris spent more time talking about the tournament’s Cane’s sponsorship than how long Rice was actually in the hitter’s challenge. However, some of the team members actually showed off their hitting skills later that day, as Will Bower capped off the day with a walk-off, series winning grand slam in the hotel.

The next day featured 2 games, with the first against SMU. Despite going down early, the Owls never felt nervous. Backed by two strong innings from Daniel Russell (‘19 Will Rice), five from Lucas Cadalzo (‘17 Brown), and a homerun from Craig Broadman (‘19 McMurtry), the Owls won 8-5. The second was against SFA. After going up 8-0, Rice got a little too complacent. The SFA team came all the way back leading to a nervous inning or two, but the team was never truly worried, mainly because no one on SFA could throw a strike at the end of the game. Rice ended up winning 16-12.

After the game, Perry Goldstein (‘18 Wiess) and Pax Kaplan-Sherman (‘18 McMurtry) finished their fungo golf playoff hole. It was, unfortunately, the only game of fungo golf played this weekend and Perry won the playoff. For the first time in a long time, Pax is not leading the fungo golf leaderboards.

With a 3-0 record in pool play, Rice was guaranteed a spot to play in the top 6 on Sunday for the first time in over 4 years. In fact, Rice was ranked second in the tournament for Sunday….#thefield. For a tournament with 24 mostly D1 teams, that’s pretty good.

The team then had a nice wholesome dinner at Two Rows, where a lady forced her dog upon people and asked them to feed it while smoking in the non-smoking section of the patio. After that, the Owls played a nice wholesome game of hockey with some members pestering the NCBA Facebook #woodwars poll. Some members then went to bed and others went to waffle house, where Kimberly salesperson treated them to a nice meal with a man who looked just like Albert Einstein sitting nearby. After that calm night of rest and rejuvenation, the team was feeling ready to play on Sunday.

On Sunday, the Owls got a bye and ended up playing Colorado State. Despite some ugly defense from the team, Sam Zapp pitched seven very strong innings. The team fought hard and prayed to the rally turtle, but ended up losing the game 7-3. Colorado State ended up winning the tournament and Rice tied for third place.

Even though they lost this tournament, the Owls feel very confident going into the spring season. With conference realignment, the Owls schedule looks to be easier than last year’s. We expect to make a deep playoff run this year.

2016-2017 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

1- Will Bower, Perry Goldstein

0- Pax, everyone else


Thanks to Daniel Russell’s parents, Sanjiv’s mom, and Kenan’s parents/lady friend for providing much needed snacks and refreshments while putting up with a bunch of college kids for an entire weekend…..Welcome new team members who joined for the trip – Lucas Cadalzo, Ben Ruben, Mario Paciuc, and Carter Taft…..In an unsurprising twist, Sanjiv hurt himself running on his first hard hit of the tournament…..Chris Thomas seems to be the new ball magnet getting hit 4 times this weekend…..Losing to Colorado State is somewhat respectable. They are the Yankees of club baseball with 6 world series wins in 16 years……. Kenan always seems to play well in Dallas but no one can figure out why…..In the online FB poll, team “Other – The Field” had the second most votes as the team most likely to win #woodwars, with 13/16 votes coming from Rice team members

Rice Swept by Texas A&M Corps Cadets
April 18, 2016, 5:32 pm
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Rice faced the Texas A&M Corps Cadets in Houston this past weekend in a three game series. The Owls needed to sweep to guarantee an appearance in the club baseball playoffs.

Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess) started the Saturday game. He pitched 5 strong innings, with Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) closing the final two innings. The Owls scored 6 runs in a gritty fashion with well-timed and well-placed hits from many members of the team. However, A&M took advantage of some lucky hits and errors to take the lead. Unfortunately the Owls comeback effort was not enough, and despite Weinberg’s massive rally cap and the tying run on second, A&M took the 8-6 victory. Devastated at the loss, many team members enjoyed the on-campus toga party a bit too much.

For the Sunday doubleheader, Daniel Russell (’19 Will Rice) started the first game. After a rough first inning, Russell settled in a pitched 6.1 strong innings. Perry Goldstein (’18 Wiess) relieved for the final .2 innings to keep the Owls within striking distance. After a hard-fought 6 and a half innings which included an extremely hard hit double by Craig Broadman (’19 McMurtry), the Owls were down 10-7 going into the final half-inning. In this time of desperation, the rally turtle was born by Daniel Russell. After rituals and prayers to the rally turtle, the Owls scored two runs and loaded the bases. Perry Goldstein then hit a frozen rope to second that was smothered by A&M to lose the game. The rally gods had spoken. Rice lost 10-9.

Travis Guzzardo (’16 Sid Richardson) started the final game, going 1.2 innings. Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry) relieved him, going into the 6th inning, with Daniel Weinberg once again closing the game out. As usual, the Owls kept the game within reach. The Owls nearly rallied for the lead about midway through the game with back-to-back Kenan Davis (’18 Lovett) and Chris Thomas singles followed by a Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan (’17 McMurtry) ground rule double. Unfortunately, convoluted substitution rules nullified this Rice effort. The Owls didn’t back down, with many threatening swings, including an impressive chip shot by Alex “Gibbers” Gardner (’18 Lovett) and threatening leadoffs by Peter Suzuki (’19 Martel) that led to about 10 pickoffs in one inning. The final half-inning once again saw Rice within striking distance. The Owls praised the rally turtle with more passion then they ever had before, yet still came up short. The Owls lost 8-6.

The weekend’s fungo golf course this weekend feature spacious fairways and small greens due to the nature of the baseball field. The first game of Saturday saw some new faces competing, with all of the top three players absent due to time constraints. Craig Broadman and Daniel Weinberg fought each other in a three hole playoff which ended on an amazing 2 shot hole for Daniel Weinberg to win. He is looking like a top fungo golf prospect for next year. The second game of the day saw Chris Thomas take victory with an extremely close final putt to win over Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry). Going into the final day of the tour, Pax had locked first place and Chris had taken a one game lead over the field. Perry Goldstein dominated the first course of the day, winning by three strokes to tie for second place. The last fungo golf game of the year again saw Perry dominate the field. He ends the tour in second place, with Pax in first and Chris in third. Next year’s tournament will begin in McKinney, Texas at the #WoodWars tournament.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 10 wins- 1st Place

Perry- 3 wins- 2nd Place

Chris- 2 wins- 3rd Place

Kenan, Travis, David, Sanjiv, Daniel Weinberg- 1 win

Everybody else- 0 wins.

Travis Guzzardo is our only senior leaving this year. We will miss him dearly. Fortunately, we will have a lot of talent next year and will hopefully make playoffs. Thanks for the great year everyone!

With the losses, the Owls are now looking to sweep finals next week.

Noteworthy- The rain gods seem to be angry with Daniel Russell’s prayer dance for them in the final game, leading to unprecedented storms in Houston the following day……Daniel Weinberg was especially glad to be on the baseball field Sunday morning for [redacted] reasons….According to team co-president Daniel Suzuki (’18 Hanzsen), Daniel Russell caught a “bajillion” pop-ups at catcher due to the extremely large backstop of the field…..Chris Thomas almost lost the title of third slowest baseball player on the team after failing to run out an easy triple, but redeemed himself by actually getting a triple later in that same game…..Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas along with Mr. and Mrs. Gopalkrishnan to providing snacks and drinks to the team throughout the weekend!